The State Department has ruled that the Keystone XL Pipeline does not pose significant environmental problems.
The department’s report was released Friday. It says Canadian tar sands are likely to be developed regardless of U.S. action on the pipeline and other options to get the oil from western Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refineries are worse for the environment.
The latest environmental review stops short of recommending approval of the project.
The ball is back in Obama’s court. The president threw down the gauntlet during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, when he said he would act without Congress when Congress does do what he wants. Here’s an area where he doesn’t need Congress, but would have bipartisan support in both houses if he wants it — to go ahead and approve the pipeline.
But approving it runs the risk of irritating the big-money environmentalists who just helped Terry McAuliffe win in Virginia and can be expected to shore up the Democrats on the left with campaign cash this fall.